How Do I Find Out If My Child Was Adopted By Another Man?

divorce lawyer Caroline ThompsonQuestion:

I believe my ex-wife’s new husband has adopted my child without my knowledge, yet I continue to pay child support.

How do I find out if my child was adopted?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Pennsylvania divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.

Typically, in order for a child to be adopted, the parental rights of the parents must be terminated prior to the adoption being allowed.

However, if a father is never listed on birth certificate, then the court generally presumes that there are no rights to terminate.

In order for a person to seek support for a child from another person, paternity must be established or the person must be listed on the birth certificate. Given the facts that you have presented, it appears that your rights would have to have been terminated in order for the other man to adopt your child.

If adoption has occurred and your parental rights were terminated, you are no longer under a duty to support the child. However, if no adoption has truly occurred, then you are still responsible to support the child.

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Adoption and Divorce

In order for an adoption to take place, a court record would have to be established. You certainly could contact the local courts where your ex-wife resided and determine if an adoption case was ever initiated in any of those courts; adoptions are generally public record but the child’s name will be protected and not listed.

However, since you know your wife’s name and presumably her husband’s name, they would both be named Plaintiffs in an adoption action so you should be able to determine if an adoption action was ever completed.

Also, in order for an adoption to take place, notice must be given to the parent whose rights are going to be terminated. If it is alleged that the whereabouts of the parent are unknown, then notice must be placed in local papers.

Therefore, another option is for you to look in the local papers from where your ex-wife resided around the time your son was allegedly adopted to determine if any notice was ever placed in a local paper.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with divorce lawyers for men in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Philadelphia Divorce Lawyer Caroline J. Thompson, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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3 comments on “How Do I Find Out If My Child Was Adopted By Another Man?

    We called the clerks where my wife lives to ask about any adoption we eere told they cant give that info…what to do next?????

    My sister I have my kids but I think that she is lying and I want to know the truth if she really adopted them

    Controversy on this topic in British Columbia
    In 1993 this topic became a major issue due to conflicts in Federal Vital Statistics Act and Provincial Family Law Act.

    1) Under Vital Stats – if the mother was married but living apart from her (un-divorced) husband, the natural father cannot be registered on the birth certificate, as the father of the child, unless the mother consents. Furthermore, application for this consent must be done within 1 yr of birth. This is I believe common in many provinces/states.

    2) Under Family Law Act at the time – Mom could name anyone as father and claim Maintenance – needing proof only if challenged – and teh bio-dada would have to submit and pay for DNA test – or be considered the father irregardless of wheather his name was on birth-certificate.

    Case Reference:

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